Monday Morning in Indy

In some respects it seems we have only arrived …

and in another as if we have been here a lifetime …

no matter the perspective we have a life to return to in Indiana.

We came as tourists with much to see …

we have the souvenirs, the stories, and the pictures to prove it.

But somewhere along the journey we also became pilgrims.

DSC_0380

What’s the difference?

A pilgrim takes joy in the journey with the understanding that the journey only exists because of the destination and the destination lights the journey with joy.  The pilgrim is interested in some thing at the end of his pilgrimage.

And the driving force for every pilgrimage is a desire to be with God. To know God. To grow closer to Him. To see God in a new way.  To hear what He is teaching us.

So for each of us … somewhere along the journey …we have become pilgrims.  Each discovering anew some thing that informed, strengthened, renewed, energized our faith. We are prepared to return home, but we are not the same.

We will sort through all of our pictures.

We will deliver gifts.

We will even have more than a few stories to share.

But we will also come home not quite the same

… and for that we are grateful.

DSC_0486

all that we have seen has been filtered through a cross

… and the joy of an empty tomb!

00daa-footsteps

As you encounter us in the coming weeks, ask about our trip

but also give us time to find the words that can go beyond all that we have seen …

all the trinkets and momentos we have brought back … all the pictures we have taken …

DSC_0804

Give us time to find the words to convey what it has meant to become pilgrims walking in His Steps in the Holy Land and now at home.

 

A Pleasant Surprise and Familiar Places

We have a plan. Walk to the Damascus Gate and beat the crowds. CHECK

DSC_0890

Shop and drink some coffee. CHECK

 

Visit a Museum. CHECK

DSC_0295

Have Lunch. CHECK

And about that Surprise.

I cannot recommend visiting the Tower of David Museum MORE!

Hidden in this gem of a place …

Remnants of the Wall that Nehemiah rebuilt.

DSC_0152

A Stone from the Hulda Gate – an entrance to Temple of Jesus’ Time.

IMG_20200219_113910

Oh and Spectacular views from the top of Herod’s Defense Tower – yes that Herod!

PANO_20200219_111212.vr

All in all a great day inside the Old City.

Can’t wait till the day comes for another visit.

Now to pack and head for home.

 

Walking in the Shadow of the Cross

We visited the place where Jesus was taken after the arrest in the Garden. These steps to the house of Caphais would have been steps that Jesus walked. These are the steps he willingly walked up knowing where they would take him. It is fitting that they are mostly blocked off – allowing only a few of the steps to be walked upon.

I am not sure I know what it means to walk these steps.

From here we visited the Antonio Fortress. The place where Jesus was kept by the Romans and the place where the journey with the Cross would begin.

DSC_0454

From here we began our walk along the Via Dolorosa – the Walk of Sorrow. We were early, but we were not alone. We were joined on our journey to the cross by a group of Korean Methodists. The sang songs along the way – we knew the tunes and the words, but we listened as they sang in a language unfamiliar to us. We were blessed to share our journey with them.

DSC_0473

We arrived at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the place of Calvary and the Empty Tomb, but it is not what we expected.

This place is ornate and indoors! But it is also a place revered for over two centuries as the place. People from all over the world come to this place and discover the tomb is still empty.

We finished our day in a place that was calm and serene – The Garden Tomb. This is a place that looks more like we want the place of the Empty Tomb to be.

The end results are the same – the tomb is empty. We checked!

We ended our time reflecting on our journey and sharing communion in the garden.

DSC_0833

We are preparing to return home, but we are not the same.

And we are not sure how to tell that story, but the words will come … in time.

Tomorrow: a free day to explore the Old City